Tech and creative firms going for shorter leases, smaller spaces: panel

By Adam Pincus | May 01, 2012 02:30PM

Technology and creative firms which have been driving the Manhattan office leasing market this year are inking deals that are shorter and that utilize space more efficiently than the typical financial firm deal, brokers speaking on a panel this morning said. The companies are negotiating deals that are shorter than the industry standard of 10 years, and the firms average about 120 square feet to 130 square feet per person versus the industry standard of 200 square feet to 250 square feet per person, the panelists said.

“For tech firms… the most important thing for them is the lease term, whether it be three to five years, versus a 10-year lease,” said Greg Taubin, executive managing director at tenant-side brokerage Studley.

Taubin, appeared on the panel along with Bruce Mosler, chairman of global brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield; David Falk, president of the tri-state region for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; David Cheikin, vice president for leasing at landlord Brookfield Office Properties; and Eric Ashman, CFO for men’s lifestyle company Thrillist Media Group. Jacqueline Weiss, a partner with the real estate group of law firm Arent Fox, moderated the panel, hosted by Bisnow Media at 450 West 33rd Street in Midtown West.

Yet even as the market stays tight in Midtown South, many computer programmers don’t want to work in Midtown, despite there being more space available.

“If someone told my team at Thrillist that we were moving to Midtown, there would be a mutiny,” Ashman said. “If I called a [computer] developer into a Midtown office and asked them if they wanted a job, they would say no.”